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DIRTY POLITICS: Artesia Cerritos Woman’s Club Suddenly Cancels Open Candidates Forum


By Brian Hews

The Artesia Cerritos Women’s Club sent out an email today cancelling it’s March 22 forum that was scheduled for 7 o’clock at the Cerritos City Council chambers.

This type of cancellation has never occurred in Cerritos politics before.

The ACWC went through the usual channels in scheduling the forum, writing a letter to Cerritos City Council to be agendized with the full city council voting their approval.

The ACWC  sent out a  brief, cryptic, and very contradictory release saying, “The Woman’s Club of Artesia-Cerritos is a non-partisan, non-denominational organization. That being said, our members are free to express their personal opinions and views on their own behalf.”

“It has come to our attention that there has been some discourse between members of our club and outside sources. We do not wish this to become a distraction to the candidates nor the city election.”

It is unknown what the phrase “some discourse between members of our club and outside sources” indicates, and also the phrase “we do not wish in becoming a distraction to the candidates.”

The statements are unusual given that 95% of the forum is formatted to take questions from the audience.

HMG-CN is reaching out to candidates for comment.

Resident Jay Gray told HMG-CN, “This is wrong. Ray and Edwards both ran just after serving as Chamber Presidents and the Chamber event was never canceled. This stinks of politics. The main candidate to benefit from muzzling the residents and other candidates from the democratic process is BARROWS and the other candidate supported by the the majority council. This could have easily been remedied, simply do what Cerritos does for elections. Ask for volunteers from the Recreation staff to collect question from the audiences and submit to the moderator. The city and those in power were stunned by Anantha and his willingness to take on the establishment.”

Resident Jim McMahon told HMG-CN, ” Don’t like that Jay Gray was attacked by Chamber or any other level of business. Chamber is about business relationship(s) and no trustees, councilpersons should be seated or elected to the Chamber.”

“Jay has right to be upset, over loosing a contract for forums. Forums create wise and educated voters. Very sad that the woman’s club had to recall the forum. Voters big lost!!!”

With CCC John Crawley era, back in the 90’s, John Crawley did not think it was fit for the city to hold a candidates Forum in a public building, and also pay for the television w/ public general funds.  One of his suggestions was to hold it, off site, in a non- city building, and his other suggestion, at Chambers pay for their video broadcasting or some other third-party sponsor & not the city of Cerritos. Fine line of mixing elections and tainting elections pools. Councils past allegations, did not want to hold forums at a city council chamber, they said that the city owns and pays for it, and it should be not paid for by the citizens who create the general fund. You can agree or disagree with the council’s debate over that. City general funds must remain neutral on the debates.

McMahon went on, “Today, don’t like the Republican racketeering slate: Republican (Vo-Barrow’s), did not like the way the first/second forum preceded, so they complained to a another Republican, mayor George Ray, and mayor George Ray attacked the Woman’s Club; therefore, the Woman’s Club removed themselves from The Forum. This is all over debates: Seniors, RDA Litigation settlement and Smart City Movements, packaged in Q/A and so forth. Both sheriffs and staff are upset.

“Republican slate knew about this RDA judicial settlement, before the 2nd forum, but was not made available to all 7 candidates, in order to produce healthy debates.”

“I’m an advocate for fair and balanced politics, not back door ambushed politics, which has leaked in to the debates from city Managers office & tainted the republican pool of candidate’s slates.”





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12 Comments on "DIRTY POLITICS: Artesia Cerritos Woman’s Club Suddenly Cancels Open Candidates Forum"

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Council Neighbor
Mr. S. Smith: More political gu gu- ga ga; for the captive Voting viewers. Feb 2015; seems like the Chamber had the same political issues compared addressing the Candidates Forum during March 2017. Non-sense and waste of time. History is repeating itself. Hmmm, almost same candidates running for office in 2017, compared to 2015, same scripts by the ye olde candidates, still the sky’s are falling in 90703, no improvement, except city has 58 less employees and more out of control deficit spending, continuous subsidies paid for by public, voters pay and city plays theory. Our public works causalities are… Read more »
Cerritos /90703 Resident
Cerritos /90703 Resident
RE: Woman’s Club and Chamber of Commerce | Alleged Insider Trading | Decades ago, governmental office issued an memo, how to vote in elections. They stated how to wisely vote in some or many national elections. They mentioned poss. the best candidates usually are the virgin candidates, candidates who are running or not recycled, and are new to some political markets, so there’s not a lot of garbage bleeding into the election. Government would rather train new elected officials, then try to recondition old re-cycled habits. They stated that some of the most famous people elected into national public offices,… Read more »
Res Ipsa
if this stinks of politics then LCCN is long overdue for a bath (still waiting on that retraction article or are facts not “newsworthy”). Mr. Gray could use a dunking himself as well as the only thing more transparent than his bias are the walls of the glass house he lives in. Should I have put that last sentence in CAPS as well? It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out why this happened, especially since this paper pats itself on the back for its investigative journalism. Particularly so given how cavalier some people have been in openly (and electronically)… Read more »
Jay Gray
Mr. Smith, Thank you for the correction and clarification regarding both current council members. My main point remains that both Edwards and Ray were part of the Chamber and the forum event was not cancelled when they participated. I make this point to indicate that organizations can participate in candidate forums without bias. It appears to have been the case in the past with your organization and the Woman’s club. You may choose not to have your organization pulled into local politics; however, both Ray and Edwards pulled your organization into local politics when they each publicly advertised their affiliation… Read more »
Scott Smith
Mr. Gray, since you mentioned the Chamber, I feel it is my obligation to respond. Please note that neither Mayor Ray nor Councilman Edwards ever served as “President” of the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Ray was on the executive board of the Chamber and had the title of “Vice President” and Councilman Edwards was simply a member of the board. I’m not aware of why the Woman’s Club, a great local organization, decided to cancel their event, but it appears to have been their decision. I can tell you that, as CEO of the Chamber, we have to… Read more »
Cerritos /90703 Resident
Cerritos /90703 Resident
Cerritos Chambers: Mr Scott Smith: RE: LCCN Article Don’t like that Jay Gray was attacked by Chambers or any other level of business. Jay has right to be upset, over loosing a contract for forums. Forums create wise and educated voters. Very sad that the woman’s club had to recall the forum. Voters big lost!!! Not the first time this cancellation has occurred. This happened once before back in the sixties, we had to pull out from forums. They were not televised. They were held in the former City council chambers & other social barnyard events. Then we had the… Read more »
Cerritos /90703 Resident
Cerritos /90703 Resident
Mr. Scot: Cerritos chamber is very much mixed in with politics. Been associated with many chambers, it’s about the business world and politics. That’s why lot of people have vacated the chambers, tired of trying to defend politics too. This was very prevalent in this season. Talk about politics, chambers even took a position of not endorsing the Cerritos affordable housing projects, which if researched, could exempt the chambers from holding forums. For decades, Chambers have branded various politicians and vice versa, military support etc. This has closed the doors for many residents, they dont want to become involved in… Read more »
Cerritos Business Climate
Cerritos Business Climate
Mr. Smith What is wrong with our Cerritos Chamber, they should be our advocate for national conventions? What is unique about Cerritos? Boring stores, no dancing, 50 shades of Rice………….City need magnet stores: IKea, Frys, etc and we desperately dont need any more rice cafes, need more dining from Heartland of American eateries. The little money we’re going to see coming in from RDA litigation, $900,000 deposited in to general funds, will be burned fast. W/ inflation, said figure over 30 yr window, will be reduced by 50%. Breached Public Works and dirty housing neighborhoods, still will be scorned with… Read more »